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Helmet for my Pillow: The World War Two Pacific Classic [Kindle Edition]

Robert Leckie
4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)

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Helmet for My Pillow is a grand and epic prose poem.  Robert Leckie’s theme is the purely human experience of war in the Pacific, written in the graceful imagery of a human being who—somehow—survived.”—Tom Hanks

“One hell of a book! The real stuff that proves the U.S. Marines are the greatest fighting men on earth!”—Leon Uris, author of Battle Cry


A powerful book that pulls no punches The New York Review of Books 'Helmet for My Pillow is a grand and epic prose poem. Robert Leckie's theme is the purely human experience of war in the Pacific, written in the graceful imagery of a human being who - somehow - survived' - Tom Hanks . One hell of a book! The real stuff that proves the U.S. Marines are the greatest fighting men on earth! Leon Uris, author of Battle Cry


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4.0 von 5 Sternen Hintergrundinfo zur Serie The Pacific 13. September 2010
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Für Leute die des Englischen durchaus mächtig sind und sich auch gerade die Serie "The Pacific" auf Kabel 1 ansehen, bietet dieses Buch willkommene Hintergrundinformation.
Ich habe mir Helmet for my Pillow und With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa gekauft und beide gelesen.
Gleich vorweg ein Tip - chronologisch gesehen zahlt es sich aus, zuerst Helmet for my Pillow zu lesen.
Robert Leckie schreibt aus sehr subjektiver Sicht und beschreibt seine Erlebnisse von der Grundausbildung, über die Einsätze auf Guadalcanal, die Rast in Australien den Einsatz auf (wie hieß das nochmal) - New Britain bis zu seiner Verwundung auf Peleliu. Er lässt den Leser an seinen Gedanken teilhaben, beschreibt die Entbehrungen, das Katz und Maus Spiel mit der Militärpolizei und den Gegensatz zu den Offizieren des Marine Korps. In seinen Schilderungen spiegelt sich manchmal sogar so etwas wie Verachtung oder sogar Hass auf einzelne Offiziere wider.
Was seiner Schilderung vielleicht ein wenig fehlt ist der Blickwinkel für die Kampagnen im großen Rahmen - diese Überblicksinfo gelingt E.B Sledge in seinem Buch "With the Old Breed" recht gut. Dafür hat man bei Leckie einen irgendwie lebendigeren Eindruck seiner Schilderungen.

Interessant können auch die kleinen "Beschönigungen" sein, die Tom Hanks und Steven Spielberg in ihrer Serie "unterlaufen" sind. So ist Leckies "Liebelei" in Australien in wirklichkeit eine verheiratete Frau gewesen, aber das kommt moralisch nicht so gut.

Abschliessend kann ich die beiden Bücher jedem empfehlen, der etwas mehr Hintergrundinfo zur Serie sucht. Hintergrundinfo sei hier nicht falsch verstanden als Zahlen und Fakten, sondern als subjektive, private erlebnisse zweier Menschen, die die Entbehrungen und Verrohungen des Krieges erleben mussten.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen sehr gut 11. Juni 2014
Von B.K.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Das Buch ist spannend und informativ. Das geschriebene Englisch ist sehr gut verständlich. Insgesamt wirklich gut zu lesen und zu verstehen.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.4 von 5 Sternen  431 Rezensionen
200 von 209 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Profound and unique insight into the WWII Pacific experience 23. Februar 2010
Von Lori D. Smith - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
First, I must admit a particular regard for this book as the granddaughter of Bill Smith (whom Leckie refers to as 'Hoosier'), who served with Leckie in How Company. Leckie offers nuanced insight into the ways in which he and his friends understood national military service, the `enemy', and the war more generally, and how these perspectives or ideas evolved among the men from North Carolina to Guadalcanal, Australia, and New Britain. Leckie steers clear from prototypes or cliches; there is no enblematic enlisted man or officer. Rather, these men are treated as real people coping (or not) with the profound uncertainty of their situation.

Perhaps this appreciation says more about my own lack of experience with combat/warfare. Thinking of Guadalcanal from a macro or military history perspective, it is easy to take for granted that marines' objectives - and the most efficacious means to pursue them - were always apparent to those involved. In this context, Leckie's account of warfare as a learning process was deep, reflexive, and fascinating. For example, he describes: 1) the marines' first reactions to air battle and subsequent adjustment to air battle as a simple process of attrition; and 2) the uncertainty confronted by officers at various stages, against the backdrop of the US' limited military experience in the Pacific or in jungles more generally. In this way, Leckie also makes apparent the need - and efficacy - of severe hierarchy. For this reason, I think that reviewers' arguments positing a lack of regard for officers deserve qualification.

Hoosier was wounded and evacuated early in the Battle of Peleliu; I believe that Chuckler and Runner were wounded later and evacuated with Leckie. Leckie and his friends stayed in touch - in the summer of 1985, my grandfather and his wife, as well as Runner (Juergens) and his wife, went to visit Leckie in New Jersey. There Leckie decidated a park in their honor, in honor of all marines who fought in the Pacific Theater (I uploaded a photo of the dedication plaque in the 'customer image gallery').

Although Hoosier never liked to share his experiences from the war, my father considers the book to be true to his character. And, while the HBO miniseries diverges considerably from the book, Hoosier's sense of humor appears true to form (the book provides far greater nuance and depth, different dialogue, and events unfolded differently). This edition of the book also includes a few photographs of Leckie, Runner, Hoosier, and others - some taken in their dress blues, and others on Guadalcanal.
123 von 130 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen That was victory 22. Februar 2010
Von wogan - Veröffentlicht auf
`Helmet for My Pillow" is a reissue from 1957. My one and only complaint is my usual one with reissues...please put in an updated introduction...tell us what has happened with the author or life, don't just reissue it and do nothing else. This will be made into a mini series which is probably the reason for the reissue. No matter what the reason it's definitely worth reading. Robert Leckie's descriptions create a picture; from his drill sergeant..." but above all he had a voice" to the exultation of leave in Australian after the battle of Guadalcanal. There are black and white pictures throughout the pages of the men he served with and of Leckie which definitely helps with the mind's pictures.

But most of all this book is remarkable. I have heard men describe their experiences with jungle warfare, both from WWII and Vietnam, but never with the awful clarity that is done in these pages. I grew up in the army and have been with the military all of my life and can agree with so much of what is said here, and said with far more ability than almost any other book I have read.
Leakie pulls no punches, not in the way many of the enlisted were treated by their officers or in his own `mistakes' that landed in him the brig.
Historically there is much in here that I have never read before, and I have read and listened to much. There are stories of the hunger the fighting men felt during battle and how Japanese forces would try to sneak into their camps at night for food. Then there are the descriptions of the `widow makers', trees that were weakened by artillery fire that killed 25 men as they broke and fell on them.
This is truly an incredible account, eye opening and worthy of your time and effort to read.
99 von 106 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Absolutely spellbinding. Couldn't put it down. 26. Februar 2010
Von R. KELSEY - Veröffentlicht auf
One of the best personal memoirs of war I have ever read. Leckie is brutally honest about anything and everything to do with his experiences in the 1st Marine Division during WWII. Incredibly impressed by his sensitive candor and philosophical reflections on the impact of war on human beings. Having been an officer myself, I was truly shocked to read his descriptions of Marine officers blatantly stealing from enlisted men. I guess in wartime, they were willing to let anyone become an officer. Leckie pulls no punches but shows remarkable understanding, forgiveness, and mercy towards all his comrades and even the enemy. This book is a classic and a must-read for anyone interested in what combat in the Pacific theater was really like and about young men's reaction to war. Rest in peace, Robert Leckie. For those who fell, there is no hell. I thank God knowing you have been reunited with your comrades. Thank you for writing this book. It was a privilege to have read it. A great gift to those who have never known the horrors and sacrifice of war.
56 von 62 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An Eloquent Account of Wartime Experience 27. Oktober 2001
Von George R Dekle - Veröffentlicht auf
Robert Leckie gives a gripping first person narrative in which he seemingly pulls no punches about life in the mud and among the flawed but heroic men of the First Marine Division. He recounts hardship, cameraderie, and combat in an engaging, almost lyrical, fashion. I came away from "Helmet" with a renewed respect for the sacrifice of the Greatest Generation. Uncommon valor was truly a common virtue. Leckie's story will make any 18 year old want to march down to the recruiting station and sign up.
Leckie's story dovetails quite nicely with another memoir, "With the Old Breed at Peliliu and Okinawa," the account of another First Division rifleman, E.B. Sledge. The First Marine Division's WWII career began in the jungles of Guadalcanal, went through New Britain and on to Peliliu and ended at Okinawa. Leckie was in at the beginning, but his combat career ended when he was wounded in the Hell of Peliliu. Sledge's combat career began at Peliliu and ended on Okinawa. Together the two give you an enlisted man's eye view of all the First Division's campaigns.
Sledge doesn't turn a phrase as well as Leckie, but his description of combat will make your blood run cold in a way that "Helmet" does not. Any 18 year old reading "Old Breed" will want to tear up his enlistment papers. It seems odd that Leckie, obviously the more accomplished wordsmith, does not paint as horrific a picture of combat as Sledge. Could it be that Leckie has shied away from revealing the full extent of the hardship of combat? Or could it be that Peliliu and Okinawa served up privation and hardship on a much grander scale than Guadalcanal and New Britain? Read both books and decide for yourself. For all its stark description, "Old Breed" will engender the same kind of respect for the men of the First Division that the reader takes away from "Helmet."
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3.0 von 5 Sternen One Different Marine 19. Oktober 2009
Von Working Nights - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
At first Leckie grabbed my attention by being at the front of the line to join
The US Marines. Through basic traning and on, a pattern seems to develop in his character. A lack of respect for any person in a position of authority starts to develop. From him, one gets the impression that he feels as if it is some kind of game to try to get over on his superiors, sometimes at the cost of his fellow Marines. He seems to thrive on getting over, getting drunk and womanizing. All that before he ever goes into combat. After entering combat it seems that he continues to try to get over and out of as much as he can. On Guadalcanal, He explains, drunk on japanese sake, he gets naked and swims across a croc infested creek to get to japanese prizes, only to get sick swim back across and get complimented by a know-nothing Lt. from his platoon. He seems to bask in being able to fool his superiors.
He seems to wonder why he does't make any rank and continues to get picked on.
His trip to Australia and further misadventures continues to befuddle him. He cannot seem to give any credit, even to the sgtmajor that could have sent him to prison or the doctor that could have put him away.
Towards the end of the book, on Peleliu it might appear that he does gain at least a little redemption and perhaps begins to reflect back upon his wayward ways and to think of others besides himself. Better late than never.
I have known a number of World War II Pacific Marines. After all that I have met, I would have to say that Leckie would appear to be different. I have the upmost Respect and Appreciation for ALL that participated.
All said and done I must say that I am glad to have read This Book. If not the most enjoyable read, though well written, but for a First Person Account by someone who was there. It seems to ask as many questions as it answers. Many second hand accounts, information heavy documentary, and backseat drivers are available.
I am sorry Mr Leckie is no longer with us (2001,age 81). I know that he had a long list of titles to his credit. I hope during his long life he was able to cope and find peace.
I would like to recommend reading, E.B. Sledge's "With The Old Breed", after reading this work. It offers an interesting compare and contrast.
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